Sheffield United manager latest: Former Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom on five man shortlist as CEO provides update on new boss search

Paul Heckingbottom is on a five-man shortlist to replace Chris Wilder as Sheffield United manager.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 6:45 pm

The former Barnsley and Leeds manager has impressed the Bramall Lane hierarchy since taking caretaker charge of United after Chris Wilder’s departure last month.

United have spoken to “a number” of potential candidates, both in England and overseas, according to chief executive Stephen Bettis.

United are doing their due diligence to ensure the right appointment is made at a crucial time for the club, with relegation from the Premier League confirmed recently.

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Bettis said: “The process of searching for a new manager to lead Sheffield United next season and beyond continues and remains the biggest priority at Bramall Lane.

“When Paul Heckingbottom was placed as interim manager back in March, we commented that he would remain in charge of team matters until the end of the season. The reason for this is that it would give us the time to thoroughly explore every option available to us.

“That remains the case. We have spoken to a number of potential candidates, both in this country and abroad, and will continue to do so in the best possible interests of the club, due diligience is an important factor as we strive to appoint the right person to enable us to make a promotion push from the EFL Championship.

Paul Heckingbottom with Stephen Bettis: Darren Staples/Sportimage

“We have now cut our search down to a shortlist of five candidates, which includes Paul Heckingbottom, who has performed commendably in the circumstances, and the board of directors will continue to take time to deliberate whilst the current season remains in progress.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank all Unitedites for their patience.”

Heckingbottom recently appeared to distance himself from the job, admitting that one of the first questions he asked when he was invited to assume caretaker charge was if his role as coach of United’s U23s would be kept open.

But that stance may change if he is offered the chance to succeed Wilder, after recently admitting that managers should be knocking the door down at Bramall Lane.

“It’s a fantastic club that will have just come down from the Premier League with a great bunch of players, and an ambition to get back,” he said.